These short essays to follow are written from the standpoint of trying to distinguish between violent behaviors for a means of survival, and violent behaviors that stem from an appetite to commit violent acts. After approximately 5000 years of civilization, humans have erected themselves out of the natural world and have constructed their own. The civilization system, so to speak, depended on infinite amount of resources, of all forms, to fuel the process. Resources that from our early ancestors perspective, were only there for the taking. At that time the population was significantly smaller, which meant the impact on the environment could be absorbed without recourse. Throughout time our mythology even reflected this perspective by placing the Earth at the center of the universe. As a result, the civilization system was highly successful in growth, and accepted violent acts as common place.
Acts of violence have built and will continue to build this world in the form of one species consuming the energy of another for its own survival. The modern world follows the same way. However, through civilization humans must question what is necessary for survival if they intend on surviving. Our modern society has packaged resources in cute little boxes made from almost any material. But for most, the thoughts on the origins of these materials, the true necessity of the items, and the impact on the environment are never questioned. Simply put, I believe the majority of the population has lost connection with the impact of how much violence we tolerate.
My hopes are to extract a truth that I can hold up to my self and decide are my acts just. It is important from my perspective that this kind of questioning begin to tingle in the cortex’s of the public’s consciousness. The human race has been very successful at taking control over a large amount of the planet. We have put a man on the moon, dabbled in the nuclear forces of the atom and now we can build a human with digital implants. Our power is only strengthened by our technology which has taken us now to the brink of a new age of human beings.
My thoughts lead me to conclude the following: if humans are to survive the coming times an awareness of the interconnectedness of life and matter must increase in the majority of the world population. Each one of us is made from living and non-living matter. Before you were you, your atoms were somewhere else, being something else. We are made from the Earth, as much as we are the Earth.
Man is not the center of the universe. Not only are we analogous to a proton in the vastness of the universe, but contemporary cosmology suggests (allowable through Quantum Mechanics) that the universe itself may be one of many. The point here is that a shift in perspective is in great need. We are part of something so immense and delicate, as opposed to something being just for us. With a perspective of ownership towards the world comes unregulated consumption, and with todays population size this translates into huge violence across the globe. In order for humans to survive in the future, their place in the universe must be clear.
Of course this will change many beliefs. Think of this: how can 2000 – 5000 years of ancient beliefs handle modern moral dilemmas such as stem cell research, cloning, human organ printing, gene manipulation, and the other issues that will surely arise as a result of twenty first century technology? I feel that the further we probe the more we will realize all creatures and even matter are at different levels of consciousness. Our actions are a result of our beliefs, which are a function of our perspective. The species is too powerful to run an old program at this scale of population. The violence is too great for the planet to absorb anymore. More importantly, for what purpose is this conscious engine intending to do and for whom? How many entities must be sacrificed for survival or for the sake of a tiny minority? What does the planet gain in dividends for being on the receiving end of such violent acts? Lastly, how does violent behavior affect our humanity, are we evolving or are we dis-evolving?
This leads me to the first basic question, when is it just to kill and when is it not?
More to come….
Written by Erik Niel